Monday, 19 November 2012

The year I bake my first Christmas Cake

I may be kidding myself in thinking I can bake a Christmas Cake but it's something that has always been a part of Christmas in my life. Apart from last year and in all honesty, I missed having one. So this year i'm determined to bake my own or at least attempt too.

Christmas Cake [or as they are just often called in the US Fruit Cakes] can be a little of a deal breaker - you either love them or hate them, but I've always been a little partial to a slice with some butter on, and if i'm splashing out a slice of nice cheese too. But they aren't the easiest things to bake and require a little extra thought and time. Also they aren't really to be baked three days before Christmas, traditionally the longer it rests before the festive season the better - some say around Halloween, some earlier. As long as you have an air tight box your set. Or you could just run down to Marks and Spencers and grab one of there's - they make tasty tasty ones. 

So I wanted to try with an easy recipe, but then I got carried away and started changing it all to fit my wants  and it's certainly not dark like the traditional fruit cake. It's basically a cherry recipe with raisins and sultanas and instead of using all the suggested orange juice  I replaced some of it with some good old rum for a festive kick [and because we didn't have brandy and I thought why the hell not].

Shopping list;
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of butter
2 medium eggs
1/4 cup of orange juice - from a bottle or actual oranges
1/4 cup of rum
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
12 ounces of mixed fruit - whatever you have
8 ounces of halved glazed cherries

To the recipe ....


If you want that extra kick it's best to start preparing your fruit the day before. Cut, slice throw in all your dried fruit - the raisins, cherries, sultanas and pour over the rum - ours being a nice rich spiced dark rum. Then you just need to cover and leave it to sit for a good 24 hours for all that tasty rum to be soaked into the fruit. Mmmm.


In one bowl you want to cream your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in your orange juice and eggs mixing well. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Take 1/3 of this flour mix and add it into the raisins and cherries - apparently adding some of the flour straight to the fruit stops them from sinking when it comes to baking it. Apparently.


Add the flour mix to the batter and blend, finally adding in your flour fruit mixture and mix just till it's all lovely and combined.


Pour into a lined bread loaf tin and stick in your preheated oven (300F/150C) for 2 hours - don't open the oven until at least 2 hours have past.


Ta daaah! My fruit DIDN'T SINK!

There it is, looks far better, and certainly looks edible! This is the first recipe I've ever written on LOTS without testing first so what it actually tastes like is a mystery but my does it smell good! It's best to keep cakes such as these wrapped up nice and tight in either tin foil or baking paper in a air tight tin and they last really well. A week or two before Christmas you can dribble some more rum over the top and let it soak in to add even more of a kick! I'm debating about covering it in marzipan and icing - i'm not sure how feasible that is for a somewhat okayish baker.

Are you a fan of Christmas cakes whether they be from Marks and Spencers or homemade?! Do you bake anything special for the festive season? 

17 comments:

  1. It looks very impressive, especially for your first attempt! Christmas cake for me is my mums cake: rich and fruity with marzipan and sherry icing :)

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    1. Oh my sherry icing sounds delicious!

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  2. I have never had fruitcake, but always wanted to try it. I have not heard of Marks and Spencers...I will Google them. The holiday cakes I see at the store scare me. They have gummy candies in them…and I hate gummy candies, except gummy bears. Who could hate a gummy bear? I have always wanted to make my own “Christmas Cake” so I could add what I like and happily omit the undesirables. Thanks for the recipe. Maybe I can put gummy bears in mine.:)

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    1. Marks and Spencers is a somewhat "posh" but high street store in the UK that have tasty foods along other things.

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  3. Yay! It looks great. I've never had fruit cake believe it or not. My family always made tamales and pozole for the holidays. Last year, I made tamales by myself. It's a lot of work when you have four people so image just me by my lonesome.

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    1. Festivities always call for extra work don't they, and we always eat too much or half of it never gets eaten!

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    2. That's so true. The husband and I have gotten better at not over eating at Thanksgiving dinner.

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  4. Looks great! Maybe I should try to make one too!

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  5. I love love love christmas cake, we never have it at home but I am always partial to a corner piece of fruitcake with a thick layer of marzipan and royal icing, drool.Hope you enjoy yours! xxx

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  6. That cake looks so good! I wish I could bake! Although when I cook I just want to eat it all instantly so I am not sure this would last in my house xx
    Love from Ella @ Belle Vintage

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  7. I'm considering making one this year (although I actually don't like them, I just like the idea of them!) Good job on yours, that will be all sticky and gorgeous by Xmas, hope it tastes amazing! x

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  8. thank you thank you thank you! finally someone agrees that that there's nothing wrong with cheese and butter on fruit cake!

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    1. It's like one of the best things ever! :D

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  9. Well done on your first Christmas Cake! I don't like it personally so usually always bake gingerbread. I think you should definitely give icing it a go as it isn't as hard as it looks I promise!

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  10. Yum yum I love Christmas cake! I wasn't sure if they had it over the pond x

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  11. OHHHHH Rachael, you always do this to me... *runs off to the cupboard* I'm craving this now!xo

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  12. I so wish I had the incentive to bake, I always seem to want to bake that final week before Christmas when I should be wrapping presents! xxx

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